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Whip City Speedway Opener Just Around the Corner on May 2

by Mark McKeon
WESTFIELD, Mass. -- With Spring in the air, the thoughts of area dirt track race fans turn to the opening of the Whip City Speedway for the 2009 racing season. The Whip will have its annual test and tune practice day on Saturday April 25, with free grandstand admission. Racing gets underway in earnest the following weekend, with the first races scheduled for Saturday May 2.

Making just a few departures from its tied and true varied racing program, Whip City Speedway hopes to cast itself as an economical entertainment option in 2009.

“We know that there is a lot of economic uncertainly out there, so we’re going to do what we can to keep things stable,” said Speedway co-owner Dave Pighetti. “The price of fuel is better than it was last year, but a lot of folks are out of work and others have lost overtime. We’re going to try to give good value to our fans and racers alike.”

It seems to be working so far: about 150 competitors have registered, about 50 for the afternoon program and 100 for the evening show.

Among the highlights of the season are visits from the Empire Lightning Sprints on August 15 and the Atlantic Coast old Timers on July 18.

Skip Matczak, owner of Seals-It and a long time owner of Supermodifieds and Silver Crown cars has acquired a pair of Quad 4 Midgets and plans on an active season at Whip City Speedway. One of Matczak’s cars will be assigned to an up and coming youngster, the other car will be available for some of Matczak’s friends and associates to drive including Chili Bowl winner Johnny Heydenreich, Indy 500 Rookie of the Year Denny Zimmerman, Tony Stewart’s father Nelson Stewart, Supermodified Living Legend Bentley Warren, Sprint Car, Midget and Indy Car chauffer Jimmy Maguire and writer, publisher, broadcaster, former racer Dr. Dick Berggren.

The all Saturday season begins with a practice session on April 25, with free spectator admission. The first night of racing on the 1/4 mile dirt track in Westfield, MA takes place on May 2, with weekly racing until October 3, except for July 4, when the Speedway will be dark.

Weekly classes for the evening program, which gets underway at 5:00 pm, include Quad 4 Midgets, Modified Lites and Mini Sprints in the 270cc, 600cc, 750cc, 750 Sportsman and 1200cc classes. Two-seater Mini Sprint rides are offered every other week.

The afternoon program gets underway at 12:30 pm and consists of heats and features for 6 Competition Karts classes with 4 Cyl Street Stock racing every other week.

Whip City has held the line on pricing this year with adult admission still $12 and kids 10 and under just $3.00 and free parking. For more details, visit our website at

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